Wound Healing Society

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Real-time Tracking And Quantification Of Chronic Wound Bacteria Via Nanofiber Biosensors
Craig Miller, Mark Livingstone, Jordon Gilmore.
Clemson University, Clemson, SC, USA.

BACKGROUND - There is a need to improve current assessment procedures used to track and diagnose the bacterial colonization of chronic, non-healing wounds towards infection. Real-time, rapid detection of antimicrobial susceptibility has the potential to significantly reduce healing times and morbidity in patients with chronic wound injuries. Current infection detection methods rely heavily on clinician experience and lab culturing. These methods are highly subjective and time consuming.

METHODS - In this work we developed a point-of-care device that can detect not only the presence of bacteria, but also metabolic activity towards the release of virulence factors related to the spread of infection. We used impedance-based sensing to provide clinicians with a quantitative tool to detect the onset of increased bacterial growth or antimicrobial susceptibility. Nonwoven nanofiber mats were fabricated by solution blow spinning of a poly-l-lactide and multi-walled carbon nanotube composite.

RESULTS - Conductivity values up to 474 S/cm were generated to detect the increased bacterial growth and antimicrobial susceptibility of Pseudomonas Putida (P. putida). Bacteria were cultured in the presence of glucose supplemented media and the impedance spectra were recorded over a 24-hour period. Functions for continuous and endpoint bacterial growth were derived from impedance data with respect to bacterial concentration and nanofiber composition. Additionally, AgNO3 (10, 100, 1000 mM) was used to determine the antimicrobial susceptibility of P. Putida to include a therapeutic effect along with the diagnostic sensor. Zone of inhibition testing was employed to determine the Antimicrobial efficacy of various AgNO3 concentrations.

CONCLUSIONS - Further development of this technology has the potential to provide clinicians with a tool for rapid bacteria quantification and therapeutic decision making.

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